Greetings, WYMOP readers!
I know this is showing up a day late, but there’s a reason for that. Last Thursday, some of you might know, I was a guest on an internet radio show. Max Bowen, over at WEMF in Cambridge, had me on his Citywide Blackout show to talk about my book, Echoes of Darkness. He had a lot of good questions, and I had a lot of fun, but one of his comments seems to have had a little blowback. He said something about the old man, one of the characters in “Death of the Boy,” the first story in the book . . . and I guess the old man heard him. He sent me a response to pass on to Max, so if you’ll excuse me I’m going to just step aside for WYMOP’s first guest blogger: the old man.
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I was listenin’ to the radio today. I heard tell someone might be talkin’ ’bout me on this show, Citywide Blackout, so I decided I might need to pay attention. Damn good thing I did. Seems there was this Max fellow on there, talking to my . . . well, my chronicler, I guess you’d call him, if you wanted to put a fine point to it. Sounds a mite jumped up, I s’pose, but it wasn’t like I asked the man to write down everything I say.
Anyway, this Max says he’s been reading what that writer fellow’s wrote about me—and that’s fine, I imagine it’s a real, whatchamacallit, a page-turner—but then he goes and says I’m not a nice man. Calls me a bastard. Done it more’n once.
Well let me ask you something, Mr. Got-His-Own-Radio-Show: you think any of this is easy? Christ! Even before them risen folk started walking around and killin’ the living, ’twasn’t easy out here. The day the dead decided they was done laying down, I was foreman for a ranch it’d take you two days to cross on horseback—and that’s lookin’ at it the narrow way. Something goes wrong out there, you ain’t callin’ for help, or askin’ someone what to do; you figure it out and do it your damn self.
I seen your picture on that website of yours. You look like one of them city fellers what been to college; talks real good, but something goes wrong and you’re sittin’ down calling in an “expert.” Well out here, in this world, there ain’t nobody to call. I’m the expert, and that’s in just one thing: survivin’. The cities are full of folks just like you, nice folks who called for help when the apocalypse came, then sat right there, waiting for the experts to show up. Problem was, we was all busy saving our own skins. Now all them nice folks are still there, but they ain’t waitin’ for help no more. They’s waitin’ for people like me and the boy. They’s waitin’ for food, and there are a lot more of them then there are of us.
So yeah, now I got me this boy, and it might not have been the smart thing to do, ridin’ in there to get him when the zombies took his family, but it was the right thing, and don’t you go tellin’ me nothin’ different. And now I got to keep him alive long enough for me to teach him to keep hisself alive—and if that means I got to push him a little, maybe even show him the hard side of my hand once in a while, well Jeeezus, I’m sorry if that offends your delicate sensibilities, but at least the boy’s still alive, y’unnerstand? And I’m gonna keep him that way if it kills him.
Now, the boy’s about done digging the fire hole. I got to give him the warning bells to string out so’s we can get some rest. You tell that Max somethin’ for me. You tell him if he thinks it’s an easy thing, keepin’ a young’un alive out here in the big empty, teachin’ him how to stay alive while everything walking on two feet out here’s nothin’ but a man-eating meat machine dressed like your neighbor, well hell, he’s welcome to come try. He better hurry his ass, though; I dunno how much time we have left.
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There. I keep telling people that sometimes it’s like my characters have a mind of their own, and they’re writing their story with me—now do you believe me?
If you’re curious about the old man and the boy, HERE’S a link to Echoes of Darkness on Amazon, just $3.99 for the e-book. And as far as what Max said . . . there’s the interview for you to listen to, below.
Talk to you later!